Our Mission & Vision

Explore, present, and teach the archaeology of the Giza Plateau.

Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) conducts innovative research on Ancient Egypt with a focus on the Giza Plateau. AERA engages and trains Egyptian nationals as full partners in its research. The AERA team is dedicated to disseminating data and findings in multiple formats. All records are archived and available to the global public through online platforms.

Who We Are

For 30 years we have brought together archaeologists and specialists from around the world to address questions regarding the origin, nature, and development of the Egyptian state—one of the earliest states of the ancient world. We seek those answers on the Giza Plateau, at our flagship site, “Lost City of the Pyramids” (also called Heit el-Ghurab, HeG) and the Kromer Dump site, where debris from HeG was deposited, as well as the Great Pyramid, Sphinx, and communities associated with the tombs of Pharaoh Menkaure and Queen Khentkawes. After three decades of field and laboratory work, we have constructed a nuanced interpretation of how the Egyptians supplied and transported raw goods and materials to build the pyramids and maintain the HeG settlement, a large urban center dating to the reigns of Menkaure, Khafre, and probably Khufu, builders of the third, second and first Giza pyramids, respectively.

Excavation, analysis, publication, and educational outreach stand as pillars of our mission in Egypt. Through multi-disciplinary analysis, rigorous archaeological fieldwork, and laboratory science we open windows on the everyday lives of Egyptians who built and administered the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx during the 4th and 5th Dynasties (c. 2543–2306 BC) of the Old Kingdom. In 2005, with the sponsorship of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), we began an archaeological training program for Inspectors in Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities. After completing 17 field schools and graduating more than 300 inspectors, AERA continues to embed this important outreach program within our core research.

More information about our Board of Directors and staff members is available here. 

What We Do

Ancient Egypt Research Association works to advance archaeological research, conservation, and training in Egypt, with a focus on ancient settlement and the archaeology of the Giza Pyramids Plateau.

• AERA explores the emergence of the ancient Egyptian state, one of the first great civilizations in the world, and documents life in the Pyramid Age through archaeological excavations of urban sites at the Giza Plateau, home of the three great pyramids of Egypt.

• AERA works with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities to train and support young Egyptian archaeologists in excavation, recording, and analysis of archaeological sites;

• AERA trains non-Egyptian archaeology students shoulder to shoulder with young Egyptian archaeologists, promoting cross-cultural and educational exchange;

• AERA surveys, maps, excavates, and analyzes archaeological sites, thereby saving information about Egypt’s past;

• AERA reconstructs ancient structures digitally and in “bricks and mortar”;

• AERA archives all excavation and survey data for present and future generations;

• AERA shares and disseminates its research and findings through academic and popular publications, lectures, and educational outreach.

Find out more about our Projects, Field Schools, and Publications

Links to articles and videos about Mark Lehner and AERA are available here.

Contact AERA

Ancient Egypt Research Associates, Inc.
26 Lincoln Street, Ste. 5
Brighton, MA 02135

For press inquires or membership questions, please email us at info@aeraweb.org.

For other issues, while we love to hear from you, our staff is very small and we cannot usually reply directly.

Field Schools: Please note that our field schools are currently only open to Ministry of Antiquities employees. 

Volunteering in Egypt: Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities is strict about who may participate in excavations and we are generally limited to accepting applications only from professional archaeologists and specialists.